Three months is my average; rarely
do I last any longer playing the role
of lover. I’ve dared myself to resist
the urge to leave, but it goes against
my truths. When lust-minded hands
turn to watchful eyes, I try to decide
if it’s worth it to be wanted for more
than late hours. Lovers begin to see me
as someone to bring home, to occupy
their houses. I find the exits too easily.
Originally published in Issue 1 of Picaroon Poetry.
America Is Not the World – an international collection of poetry and short fiction from Pankhearst is now available via Amazon. You can purchase the collection here.
Other writers and editors have praised this anthology:
SHINJINI BHATTACHARJEE, poet and Editor of Hermeneutic Chaos and Press:
The landscape of America Is Not the World enacts important historical and cultural intersections through a vivid mélange of symbolic and imagistic riches that are unsparingly true. The collection reconstructs our perception of America through poems and stories that fold maps and question binaries by narrating the lives of our complex, often troubled worlds that do not harbor easy answers. But, at the same time, it also offers the splendid possibility of a human culture that dissolves the glistening weight of its wounds together. This is an anthology that hums and crackles with a formidable urgency that is rare, intimate, poignant and necessary, assembling languages that our identities won’t reveal. Prepare to emerge from it transformed.
SADE ANDRIA ZABALA, columnist for Art-Parasites and author of WAR SONGS and Coffee and Cigarettes:
“Nothing feels like loss anymore,” says a powerful Pakistani poem by one of the many international writers in America Is Not The World. This book is raw, diverse, and impassioned, and comes at a time when the entire world needs it, even when many prefer to remain deaf to the truth. Pankhearst’s new collection is not another scream into the void – it is a wake-up call. Everyone ought to hear the alarm.
DONNA-MARIE RILEY, author of Love and Other Small Wars:
These are the voices we need – voices that break the monotony. This collection is wonderful and heart-wrenching in equal measure. Wonderful because these voices are so incredibly articulate and individual and necessary. Heart-wrenching because I am so sorry for the things they have to say. I am amazed and humbled by the tenderness of these poems. They throb while you’re reading them and echo long after you’ve finished. A collection that sings.
I’m so pleased to share this anthology with everyone. It’s been months and months of work and an endeavor that has humbled me both as a poet and an editor. The contributors of this anthology have shared brave and poignant work that deserves to be read.
This book will stir your empathy.
Please support this project:
Buy it. Loan it out. Give it away.
Talk about it. Review it. Share the news.
The screen door
off her guard;
has no ghosts.
She eyes him
he’ll haunt her.
Originally published at Rust + Moth – Spring 2016
With your lips
against the flank
of my hip,
I find God
and beg for more.
My prayers grow louder—
then let loose to quiet praise
as your spirit
leaves my body.
Previously published in Pankhearst’s Slim Volume #3: This Body I Live In – November 2015. Available for purchase here.
The old dog sits close;
thunderstorms and nostalgia
have us held up
in the back of the house—
each seeking shelter
from our own fears.
Originally published at Gnarled Oak – Issue 5; November 6, 2015
in your pocket,
where your mind is.
Clutch it with free hands;
grip the emptiness
the way children do
when they’re hungry
and tell me again
how my soul is lost.
Originally published at By&By Poetry – October 2015
Not all women wear dresses; I don’t.
I do piss in the same public restrooms
as those who do. The doors have signs
decorated with a little female form,
shaped like an A, and lacking all color.
But we are not basic models, uniform;
we do not all have high-pitched voices
and dainty waists. Not all of us giggle
when a man eyes us; some of us stare back
with self worth flickering in our pupils.
I belong to no one. The tattoo that stretches
across the blade of my right shoulder says:
“I Am Mine.”
And I am.
We scare the simple-minded, and escape
the confines of tradition, all while embracing
the bits of it which do not condemn us.
Contrary to what the psychologists say,
we do not all want to marry men
who are like our fathers; hell, some of us
cringe at the very thought of marriage—
and of our fathers. Some of us want children,
but not husbands; others want the opposite
or none of the above. And those of us
who just want sex are not sluts or selfish.
Anyone who assumes such likely wants to live
like us, but is too stubborn to drop the standard
pre-conceptions and holier-than-thou scriptures
which define them as much as their hemlines.
I vote for and against those who are
for and against me and my interests; still,
we have few options and are seen as both
victims and threats, depending primarily upon
our appearance. The times are changing,
though; as are we. You, whoever you may be,
would do well to step out of our way, and to take
that damned A-dressed emblem off the door.
Published at The Fem Lit Magazine – October 2015
Source: A | Rachel Nix